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As the secret passage door closed, Celia removed the magic stone from the ring. The magic light contained in the mana stone was illuminating the passage.
“Madam, the more I get to know you, the more amazing you become. How did you find out about the Imperial Palace’s secret passage?”
Zeppel lowered his voice and asked. Celia replied, then handing Leonis her mana stone.
“I saw it in my dream. She wanted me to get in here.”
“……Are you talking about Goddess?”
Celia nodded at Leonis’s question. She was going to talk about the egg of the divine beast immediately, but she thought this now was not the right time. It was critical to get out of there as soon as possible.
“I wish I could take Lucy with us.”
“Are you referring to Princess Amelia’s nanny, whom you mentioned earlier?”
When Phil became enraged, he frequently targeted people who were weaker than him. Lucy, unlike the other courtiers, only pretended to surrender to Phil. Phil realized it as well, so he beat Lucy even harder.
“That’s a good idea, but……Not today. Now that we know about this secret passage, we’ll be able to bring her back sooner or later.”
Knowing she was in the Second Imperial Palace, she couldn’t bring her home because Lucy was under strict surveillance. Phil and his mother, the Third Empress, also tried to hold Lucy to be hostage as a precaution.
As soon as possible. Phil will mercilessly stamp her from that height once today’s task has been completed safely.
Then, it was difficult to guarantee how Lucy, who was just a hostage, would be treated.
Phil was foolish and could solve the problem by torturing and killing Princess Amelia’s beloved Lucy out of anger at his condition of not being a candidate for the crown prince.
Simply to ensure that the hostage, which has become useless to him, does not fall into the hands of others. He was the only one who could see blood for just that reason.
“Please look after her.”
Leonis took the lead and returned his gaze to Celia. What bothered him was the ‘dew on the rose’ he had heard from Phil earlier.
Dew on the rose was a dangerous aphrodisiac that was only effective on women.
“Celia, I heard from Prince Phil earlier……you drank alcohol with medications.”
Celia, who had been holding back until now, was embarrassed to hear that.
“I drank it, but it was tolerable……”
“You could tolerate it? Did you actually take that medication?”
Leonis’ anxious expression suggested that he knew what drug was in the drink. Celia simply nodded. Zeppel’s face also turned pale.
“Madam. It’s not just an aphrodisiac, it’s poison!”
Poison? What if I die? While she was freaked out, Leonis, who approached, held Celia up. With a frozen expression, he looked at Zeppel. Leonis had already given Zeppel a mana stone.
“Could you find the direction where the exit is?”
Zeppel was always taking out a magic tool that could tell where is the north from his clothes. He has already taken the initiative and responded.
“Just leave it to me! Given the imperial castle’s location and structure, I’m guessing this is the exit to the secret passageway!”
Zeppel looked at Celia as he said this. Celia was the only one who knew about the hidden passage.
“I’m not sure where the exit is. I just know that there is a door leading to the outside!”
“Enough of that. I’ll find a way, so please, Duke, don’t let madam overdo it!”
Zeppel began running after he said it, checking his magical tools. Celia was taken aback as Leonis followed him.
“I think I can still bear it. I can walk.”
“The more you move, the faster the poison spreads. Stay in my arms.”
Leonis whispered to her and followed Zeppel. Zeppel carefully examined his surroundings before proceeding downstairs.
✦ ✦ ✦
Michael thought everything was going swimmingly. Giel, on the other hand, pursued him relentlessly as if he genuinely wanted to kill him.
Forgetting about his body pain, Michael hid in the bedroom of the First Imperial Palace and escaped through the window when he heard the door was slammed. Even if Giel went mad, he appeared to be completely insane.
“Your Highness, Your Highness! Bring yourself to your senses! This will not be forgiven by Your Majesty!”
The servants clung to Giel’s legs, pleading for grace, but were kicked. Michael was taken aback when he saw the knights he cared about fall, spurting blood.
‘Even though there were many of them trying to attack him, none of them could stop him?’
I know it’s because their opponent was a prince, but I’d be dead with that bastard’s sword at this rate. As he crawled back into the First Imperial Palace in search of a way out, Michael remembered a secret passage.
He didn’t know all the secret passageways in the palace of the first prince, either. He has been looking for secret passages since he was still a kid, but he’s only discovered about eight of them so far.
When I was younger, my mother, the First Empress, was so strict that I didn’t have time to do so, and as I grew older, I didn’t feel the need to find the rest of them.
‘I have to enter the other room to get into the secret passageway.’
Giel was approaching from the other side of the room, so he entered the room through the hallway and met him without moving.
Michael shook his head. I’m not sure where or what Giel heard, but there was most likely no evidence of it. He was the one who gave the order to kill and then burn everyone involved. There was no more proof.
Giel gnashed his teeth at the sight of Michael leaving the room. The longsword he was wielding was dripping with blood. Michael got goosebumps but pretended to be calm.
He never showed his fears in the presence of a lunatic.
“Why are you doing this? Don’t you think the people who work in the first emperor’s palace are pathetic? They are all people who have served Vivian with utmost sincerity.”
Michael even knew that Vivian dated Giel before marrying him. Before that, she had an affair with her escort knight, and her child was stillborn…… She really wanted to be a great woman.
But it was a marriage he accepted because he believed he would benefit from it.
Giel flinched when he learned that those killed or injured had served on Vivian. Michael did not pass up the opportunity.
“Liar……Don’t try to fool me! I know you poisoned Vivian! Where is Vivian?”
When Giel mentioned Vivian, Michael couldn’t help but laugh inwardly. If he was so in love, Giel should have broken the engagement when the news came out.
Michael couldn’t understand why he had kept his mouth shut back then, and now Giel was acting like this.
After hearing someone approaching them, Michael tried to appease Giel once more. He had been waiting for the person approaching him, surrounded by imperial palace knights.
Michael changed his attitude because he didn’t want to appear servile in front of him.
“It’s Vivian…… Giel! It’s your sister-in-law!”
As he shouted with dignity, Giel’s eyes became ferocious.
“You ran away like a rat! How dare you think you deserve Vivian’s husband!”
Giel screamed, but Michael wasn’t looking at him. Michael was refining his disheveled clothes and bowing to someone.
Giel turned around and was surprised to see someone. He, too, knew that a group of people was approaching, but he had no idea who the man was among them.
“Giel! What are you doing!”
Michael lowered his head and smiled in response to Orkan’s scream. Giel’s sudden rampage bothered him, but at least he wanted things to work out.
Phil would be deposed soon, and the emperor would believe Giel was unfit for the role of a crown prince due to his recent inappropriate behavior.
“Put that sword down first! What are the knights doing!”
The imperial guards moved in unison in response to the emperor’s yell. Giel paused and returned his attention to Michael, who stood behind him.
The distance between them was about eight steps, but Giel could see it clearly. Michael laughed sarcastically.
When Giel saw that smile, something inside him exploded. Giel rushed at Michael like a bounced arrow, sensing the murderous intent in his eyes.
Orkan let out a shrill scream. Giel, on the other hand, had already stabbed Michael with his sword. As the tip of Giel’s sword pierced Michael’s stomach, his eyes were filled with confusion and then despair.
However, the escort knights directly under the emperor were also formidable. They wrapped around Giel’s sides like the wind and hit his arms.
Giel’s sword was slid away, but not before a word from him, a sword had been stabbed into Michael’s stomach. The longsword fell to the floor and was pulled from the wound; blood started pouring out.
Michael collapsed to his knees in pain and shock. The emperor shook off the attendants’ attempts to stop him and ran to Michael. Giel couldn’t move because his body was pressed against the ground.
In Giel’s piercing eyes, the sight of Michael was reflected. Michael collapsed to the floor when he saw those vile eyes, crinkling his brow.
“Michael! Call the doctor, call the doctor! No, Healer! Call Phil!”
The Emperor’s shout rang in his head.
✦ ✦ ✦
Zeppel and Leonis broke through the path Celia had been wandering for hours in just minutes. What was more surprising was that Zeppel seemed on the right track.
‘What’s the difference? My brain? Do you mean my brain is stupid?’
I know Zeppel is Leonis’ bookkeeper and a genius, but…… I’m a little annoyed.
The road leading to the underground went beyond the imperial palace’s garden and out of the capital. If Celia had been alone, she would have covered the road in 20 minutes, which she would have walked in fear in a half-exhausted state after a lengthy exertion.
Zeppel’s brain was also in a head like hers, but they were very different regarding tremendous instinct and stamina.
‘Don’t horses run faster than humans?’
Of course, everything was fine on Leonis’ side, and Zeppel was sweating profusely and making a windy sound with his mouth.
Leonis came to a halt in his stride. He examined Celia’s complexion as he looked at Zeppel. Zeppel said as he bent his waist.
“Huh……Heok…… I am……okay, so……Your excellency……please go first……”
“Ah, no matter how much… …”
“No. Ha……If I were there, Your Excellency would be in big trouble…… I will join you on my own.”
Zeppel stretched his back and said. Celia was concerned about him being alone, but Leonis had a face of trust.
“We’ll see you in the Duchy.”